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May 1 AUL Comments on the Reported Retirement of Justice David Souter from the Supreme Court


May 1, 2009

Americans United for Life Comments on the Reported Retirement of Justice David Souter from the Supreme Court

Washington — Major media outlets are reporting that United State Supreme Court Justice David Souter has informed the White House that he plans to retire at the end of the Court’s current term.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life, stated, “We will work to oppose any nominee for the Supreme Court who will read the Freedom of Choice Act into the Constitution in order to elevate abortion to a fundamental right on the same plane as the freedom of speech.   In his search for a replacement for Justice Souter, President Obama should avoid a pro-abortion litmus test.”

Dr. Yoest continued, “This nomination represents a test for a President who has expressed a public commitment to reducing abortions while pursuing an aggressive pro-abortion agenda.  Appointing an abortion radical to the Court — someone who believes social activism trumps the Constitution – further undermines efforts to reduce abortion.  In the days ahead, Justice Souter’s retirement also represents a test for the Senate:  will they uphold their duty to raise serious questions over a nominee’s judicial philosophy?”

“The irony is that even many abortion rights supporters agree that Roe v. Wadewas poorly decided,” Yoest said. “One person often cited as a potential Obama pick, legal scholar Cass Sunstein, has argued that Roe ‘badly overreached’ and that the decision rests on shaky constitutional foundations.”

Regarding Souter’s tenure on the Court, Americans United for Life Senior Counsel Clarke D. Forsythe stated, “Justice David Souter is one of the most pro-abortion members of the United States Supreme Court.  During his tenure, Justice Souter voted to uphold abortion on demand and to strike down common sense abortion regulations that the vast majority of Americans support.  He voted in 2000 and again in 2007 to strike down prohibitions on the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion.  As many votes on abortion have been 5-4 decisions, his presence on the Court has extended the tragedy of abortion by restricting the right of states to make their own decisions on abortion law.”

About Americans United for Life

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.  The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971.  The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.

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